Originally Posted by DJ-CHRIS
It's an open and non hateful country. People are basicly free to do what they want if it doesnt harm other people.
Legalized Prostition, Legalized Drugs, Same sex Marriage and the list goes on.
It's actually a reasonably oppressed society. prostitutes in the netherlands are worse off there than in most countries where it is illegal.
basically, (You ever been to amsterdamn -where the largest red light district is?), well throughout the day (yes from about midday onwards) the infamous windows will start to get occupied by naked women, trying to sell their bodies to you, it's not a fantastically nice place to be, (I mean (most of) the locals are great). the prostitutes in the windows are required to do regular health checks, (which is a good side).
but however, they are also required to declare their earnings and pay tax, the windows that they are in are usually owned by a landlord and they have to pay rent to sit in that window, and pay rent on the bedrooms etc as well.
prostitution is costly to the prostitute there, in other countries, prostitutes do exist, but the women are unsafe on the streets, but they do get to keep all their money, thus, if a woman is in dire financial straights, they may turn to prostitution as a way of making some fast money, but they will also inevitably earn enough to get out of 'the game' as well. in the netherlands because of the tax and rental costs, some prostitutes will never earn enough money to leave the profession, and hence will be condemmed to a life of selling themselves to random, smelly probably drunk strangers for most of their lives.
Yes, weed is leagal, and that is all very well, but it's only legal to buy from autherised places, and you can't just smoke it anywhere on the streets, only in the cafes where you can usually buy hash cakes and such as well.
sadly, most of thecafe owners are stoners, there are a lot of british people who have emigrated to holland to start a hash cafe thinking it'd be a great way to earn money, unfortunatly they mostly spend the time getting stoned though and competing with the much larger 'chain store' hash cafe bars such as the bull dog, or the high times cafe.
also, if you're ever in the red light districts at night, you'll have to face a never ending barage of pimps trying to take you to their windows, people trying to get you to go to sex shows, and people trying to sell you hard drugs, (this was whilst me and my girlfriend were walking around...
You've also got a massive chance of being mugged, as some of my friends have been when they've been there as well.
the best bit about amsterdam (for me at least) was the Hard Rock cafe, where we ate huge amounts of food after being out in the bars all night.
to be fair though, that was Amsterdam, which is the biggest city, when I went to rotterdam last year that was a LOT nicer!
Same sex marriges, yes, I guess that's a plus (if you like that kind of thing), though I assume that's more what you were after, and to be fair, you can get that in the UK now.
I think it's fair to say that in general people idolise the netherlands for reasons that it shouldn't be idolised for!
-edit, has anyone else here actually been to the netherlands, I've only been to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.